Eni, Shell and other energy groups cleared of corruption charges
After a number of hearings during the past three years, the court of Milan has acquitted oil companies Shell, Eni, along with the latter’s chief executive of wrongdoing in a corruption case centred on a Nigerian offshore oil field. In fact, according to court documents, the money was received by a Nigerian company owned by a former oil minister. From there, the money was paid out in kickbacks that funded a variety of purchases by Nigerian nationals. The origins of the case go back to 2011. At that time, Shell and Eni settled a huge exploration lease dispute, paying the Nigerian government $1.3 billion via an escrow account overseen by J.P. Morgan Chase. The Nigerian government then transferred $875 billion of the funds to a company controlled by former Nigerian oil minister Dan Etete (who was convicted money launderer). However, the court has reached a different conclusion finding that the firms and the named executives were not guilty.